Essence of Christianity
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Christianity is about God reaching out his hand in friendship to mankind. Christians believe that the everything within the universe was created by God. God is a personal being, and by some mystery that we cannot understand, he is three, yet one: Father, Son and Spirit. He created people in his image, to love him. Yet every person has rebelled against God. But instead of turning his back on us, God the Son, became a man, Jesus, and lived among us, dying because of us - the death that we should have died. Jesus was crucified on a cross, but he rose from the dead, and now calls us to trust him, to love him and to repent of our rebellion. If we do this, then our relationship with God becomes restored, and God the Spirit lives within us, assuring us of the promise of everlasting life.
The good news of Jesus, or the gospel, is summarized in 1 Corinthians 15. This passage is a simple statement that gives a portrait of what the essence of Christianity is - forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is the central figure that separates Christianity from other religions. Christians believe that he is both God and a man; that he created the world and mankind, and that he is alive today. He was born around the 4 BC and grew up in Judea (current day Palestine) where he taught about God's love and the repentance of sin.
To become a Christian, a person must believe in his heart and confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord. When he accepts the fact that he has disobeyed God, but also accepts Jesus' death on the cross as punishment for his sins, that person has become a Christian. Ephesians 1:7 in the New Testament shows that forgiveness of sins are through Jesus
There are many biblical passages that show that belief, or faith, in Jesus Christ is what brings life to people. Faith in Jesus is ultimately what makes a person a Christian. Perhaps the most famous of these verses is John 3:16
When we become a Christian, we are called to live for God in every aspect of our lives. He brings us into a relationship of love with him and with other Christians and calls us to live for him fully, obeying him and trusting in him completely.
Christianity, The First 1000 Years
Also see Christianity, The 2nd Thousand Years